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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Can my employer cancel my private health with out informing

Customer Question

Can my employer cancel my private health with out informing ?? I've had it for ten years .
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.

Ben Jones : Hello, my name is Ben and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Is that benefit part of your contract?
JACUSTOMER-n7mwcdql- : Hi Ben
JACUSTOMER-n7mwcdql- : please can you advise if this aloud to just cancel with out telling me ?
JACUSTOMER-n7mwcdql- : in not sure ?? I've been there ten years and it was in my package and option I could take when I started . I don't think it's written in my contract . I'm going to look in my booklet when I go into today
JACUSTOMER-n7mwcdql- : I have to go now can we chat later
Ben Jones :

Hi sorry I was offline when you replied this morning. If you have received this benefit for the past 10 years, then even if it is not contained in your contract you can certainly argue that it has become a contractual term through custom and practice (basically it has been applied consistently for such a long time that it has eventually become contractually binding).

There are a few ways in which an employer may try and make changes to an employee’s contract of employment. These are by:

  • Receiving the employee’s express consent to the changes.
  • Forcefully introducing the changes (called 'unilateral change of contract').
  • Giving the employee notice to terminate their current contract and then offer them immediate re-engagement under a new contract that contains the new terms.

If the changes are introduced without the employee's consent, then the following options are available:

1. Start working on the new terms but making it clear in writing that you are working ‘under protest’. This means that you do not agree with the changes but feel forced to do so. In the meantime you should try and resolve the issue either by informal discussions or by raising a formal grievance.

2. If the changes fundamentally impact the contract, for example changes to pay, duties, place of work, etc., you may wish to consider resigning and claiming constructive dismissal. The resignation must be done without unreasonable delay so as not to give the impression that the changes had been accepted. The claim must be submitted in an employment tribunal within 3 months of resigning and is subject to you having at least 2 years' continuous service. You would then seek compensation for loss of earnings resulting from the employer's actions.

3. If the employment is terminated and the employer offers re-engagement on the new terms that could potentially amount to unfair dismissal. However, the employer can try and justify the dismissal and the changes if they had a sound business reason for doing so. This could be pressing business needs requiring drastic changes for the company to survive. If no such reason exists, you can make a claim for unfair dismissal in an employment tribunal. The same time limit of 3 months to claim and the requirement to have 2 years' continuous would apply.

Hope this clarifies your position? If you could please let me know that would be great, thank you

Ben Jones :

Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? Thanks

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